One of my best friends nearly broke into tears the day that she walked into our house after being away for a while and noticed that my youngest daughter had finally lost all of the baby qualities to her features. This was a few years ago. Now, my twins are turning ten in a couple of weeks and my youngest is nine, and far from being anything like a baby anymore. I am in heaven over the situation. The kids can wipe their own bottoms, pick up their own toys and do chores around the house. We actually get to sleep through the night almost every night in our house and the kids no longer bring home a new illness every two weeks. It is true, they were damn cute when they were little, but as I have admitted before, I loved my babies, but I don’t really resonate with little ones. Right now, my kids are in the process of becoming little people and I absolutely love it.
Yes, we have already entered into some of the annoying teenage behavior that I will be stuck managing for the next eight to ten years, but to be quite honest, I prefer it to wiping butts. The best part is that my kids are absolutely freaking awesome. They are intelligent, and creative, and curious, and concerned about the world around them. I look forward to spending time with them and with talking to them about their ideas and their dreams. All three of them have delightfully different personalities and it is amazing to watch them as they grow and change. We can now sit down and have interesting conversations together over dinner. The kids are interested in movies and old television re-runs that I actually enjoy watching with them. I find myself looking forward to sending time with my kids.
When I was a mom of three little ones, almost every day was a battle to get to eight o’clock when I could put them all to bed and sit down and eat a meal in peace. Living with little ones is like a game of waiting out the clock; occupying the kids by going through the daily routine and trying to keep them entertained with the fewest number of crises possible. It used to take me a good hour just to get out of the house. At one point I had three kids under three years old. Sometimes I have to sit back and marvel at the fact that I have maintained my sanity reasonably well. It is true that I have scant memory of those first few years when I wasn’t getting more than a few hours of sleep in a row ever, but it seems that I have made it out the other end, at least the other end of the little kid part, and that my reward is looking forward to ten more years with these awesome young people, who I really, and truly do like.
I think that many parents are like my husband and I in the respect that we tell all of our kids that we love them scores of times each and every day. I think that maybe it is relevant for parents to remember that if we are lucky enough to really and truly like the human beings that our kids are growing into, we need to remember to tell them as much. It can be surprising how much it means to kids when we express to them how greatly we genuinely like the individuals that they are becoming. Kids are smart. They know that in most situations they get our love no matter what they do, parents are pre-programmed to love our children no matter what, but no one ever said that we have to like them. You might be surprised how much your kids will appreciate it if you let them know.